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Roundtable: Mayor’s Race; Arevalos Victim Accused; State Of The State Of The City

KPBS Roundtable

Roundtable: Mayor's Race; Arevalos Victim Accused; State Of The State Of The City

Audio

Aired 1/17/14

HOST

Mark Sauer

GUESTS

Sandhya Dirks, KPBS News

Sara Libby, Voice of San Diego

Jonathan Heller, Freelance Journalist

Transcript

Mayor's Race Gets Nasty

With less than a month to go before election day, San Diego City Councilmen Kevin Faulconer and David Alvarez met this week in the first of six televised debates.

The two candidates, who had almost appeared to be working in tandem during the primary, were definitely adversaries during the KPBS/10News debate. Alvarez called Faulconer a pawn of downtown business interests, and Faulconer said Alvarez was a pawn of the labor unions.

The latest poll (from 10News and UT San Diego, conducted by Survey USA) shows Faulconer ahead of Alvarez 53 to 37 percent. A December poll showed the candidates in a dead heat. As expected, the new poll shows Faulconer’s support coming mostly from north of I-8. But it also showed the two candidates tied among voters living south of I-8 and a loss of 32 percentage points among voters 35 to 49 years old for Alvarez.

Arevalos Victim Accused Of Bribery

The woman who was the first to accuse SDPD officer Anthony Arevalos of sexual misconduct was praised by Police Chief William Lansdowne as courageous. That was then.

This week, we learned she was accused of bribery by the San Diego City Attorney’s Office in its pretrial defense of a federal lawsuit against the city.

The city said the woman, who remains anonymous, offered Arevalos her underwear to get out of a DUI. She engaged in negotiation with Arevalos over her arrest, which amounts to bribery. At Arevalos’ trial, she testified that he asked her for the panties to make the arrest go away.

The day after a story on the city's defense strategy appeared in U-T San Diego, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said the city had dropped that line of defense and would no longer accuse "Jane Doe" of bribery.

Some observers see similarities to the city attorney’s response last fall to Irene McCormack’s lawsuit against the city and Mayor Bob Filner for sexual misconduct. Among other things, the city said that any injury or damage was caused and exacerbated by McCormack herself.

Gauging The State Of the State Of The City

A good State of the City address, notes freelance journalist Jonathan Heller, will illustrate a vision, set an agenda for the year and strike a tone. This week, Interim Mayor Todd Gloria was the 10th San Diego mayor to deliver this speech, which may be his first and last such address. Or not.

Other mayors have used the dais to try to cement their legacy or scold the powers-that-be (Sanders); call for a radical new governmental structure and fantastical engineering project (Golding); and issue impassioned pleas for change and say goodbye (Wilson).

The event takes time to prepare, effort to stage and, presumably, funding to make it all happen. The question is, to whom does it really matter?

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